Tech Drops Heartbreaker to St. John's in Overtime
Dirda makes 11 saves in losing effort
October 25, 2002

Box Score VT 1, St. John's 2 (OT)
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Despite an 11 save effort from sophomore goalkeeper Natasha Dirda (McKees Rocks, Pa.), the Virginia Tech women's soccer dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime to St. John's in a BIG EAST divisional match Friday evening. With the loss, the Hokies fall to 5-10-1 on the year, 2-3-0 in conference play, while St. John's improves to 9-4-4 overall, 3-3-0 in the BIG EAST and secures the final spot in the conference post-season tournament.

St. John's freshman Kaitlin Schmidt beat Dirda in the 15th minute of play and tallied the 10th goal of her rookie campaign on the Red Storms' first shot of the match.

In the 61st minute, a Red Storm foul inside the penalty box resulted in a Tech penalty kick. Junior co-captain Kathy Holdsworth (Sarasota, Fla.) evened the score at 1-1 with her third goal in the last three BIG EAST matches.

Less than a minute after tying the score, a Tech defender committed a foul inside the penalty box and the referee awarded St. John's a penalty kick. Dirda made a good read on the play and denied Dominica Reina's attempt, making a crucial save for the Hokies.

Despite a flurry of St. John's shots in the closing minutes of regulation, including one that hit the crossbar, the score remained tied forcing sudden-victory play.

Seventeen seconds into overtime, Red Storm sweeper Courtney Rett blasted an uncontested shot past Dirda for the game-winner. St. John's senior Theresa Bulman set up the play by sending a pass along the left side from midfield to Schmidt. Schmidt gathered Bulman's pass and sent it across the field to senior Joanna Dawson. In her first action in a week after suffering a knee injury, Dawson pushed the ball to an unmarked Rett, who netted the golden goal from 18 yards out.

As the winner of this evening's Northeast Division match St. John's claims the final spot in the post-season tournament and will face Mid-Atlantic Division champion, West Virginia, Sunday, Nov. 3, in Morgantown, W.Va.

The Hokies will travel to Storrs, Conn., to challenge the Connecticut Huskies Sunday afternoon in their BIG EAST finale, and will return home for season finale on Wednesday, Oct. 30, against New River Valley rival Radford.

Goals by period                1  2 OT    F
Virginia Tech (5-10-1, 2-3-0)  0  1  0 -  1
St. John's (9-4-4, 3-3-0)      1  0  1 -  2

1. 14:14 SJU SCHMIDT, Kaitlin (10) (REINA, Dominica;HENDERSON, Erin)
2. 60:39 VT HOLDSWORTH, Kathy (Penalty kick)
3. 90:17 SJU RETT, Courtney (4) (DAWSON, Joanna;SCHMIDT, Kaitlin)

Shots: Virginia Tech 15, St. John's 22
Saves: Virginia Tech 11 (DIRDA, Natasha 11), St. John's 7 (FOGG, Tina 7)